Tonight, I finished sharing all things Middle Earth with my daughter. We watched the last half of Return Of The King together before I packed her off to bed. She is enthralled with all of it, and especially the elves, and the Rohirrim. I am thrilled that she loves it as much as I do.
The thing is, I can never seem to get over how much I love this story, and its power to transport me, and to move me. I cry at the end of the book, and the films. I cry absurd amounts, stupid amounts. My mascara is beyond reparable. And I really don’t care who knows it. Whatever the flaws in Peter Jackson’s films – and they are many – there are just as many things that to me feel utterly right. And the music… Howard Shore’s music is as important as everything else put together, in realising this fantastic world that Tolkien built. A world built out of words. Now that is magic. And that, I think, is the thing that made me want to write. Even if I never get so far, even if my words reach no one, touch no one, transport no one. Still I will try. This magic is what I want to make, ultimately. One word at a time, however long it takes, and however many knock backs, and rejections, and failures there will inevitably be.
Today, for the first time in a long time, the year has felt like it is at last where it should be. Today has been one of those idyllic July days; infinite blue sky, heat without humidity, the scent of cut grass, good coffee, lingering honeysuckle. All that was missing was the old fashioned tang of creosote – it was a good day for weatherproofing your exterior woodwork – the thock of leather on willow, and the low hum of a light aircraft crossing from there to elsewhere. And neither unfeasibly wet, nor unseasonably hot. Really, that’s how good it felt, like one of those perfect days that seemed to last forever when I was a child.
And the night has been a good one too. I went to see The Dark Knight Rises with my friend Nina. We loved it. I’m not going to bore you with any attempt at a review – there are enough both glowing and detracting out in the wilds of the net if you want to judge by other people’s opinions. All I will say is that it hit square on all the plot points it needed to hit with the character ensemble, and it did it loudly, and stylishly. It made me – and a large number of the other audience members – jump in our seats. It pulled no punches. But some of the little details… the minor things that niggle, or distract you from the full suspension of disbelief… come on Hollywood; you don’t have to get such simple things wrong. And that’s all I’ll say on the matter. That, and that I REALLY want to go and see it again. Now, preferably.
I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I danced all the way home along Slad Road. It helped that my iPod shuffle threw me Hallogallo; vintage krautrock doesn’t come much better than this. And walking away from the orange streetlamp glare, into the tall shadows cast by dark houses, high hedges, framing the night sky away from urban light-spill, the stars shone clear in all their millions, strung across the sky. The night breeze and the stars, and the music and me. The kind of night where it would be so simple just to keep on walking, into the darkness until the sky turns light again. And I stopped, mid-step, and gazed and gazed. And I saluted the sky. I did. And then I carried on dancing. And yes, there was a lone cyclist who doubtless thought me completely mental, but I really don’t care. Because all during that homeward dance, I was perfectly happy. And the stars shone, for me.